Honestly most of the time when I do these things it’s to push myself… To see what I can do and make new friends. I just want to put myself out there!”
Jazz Haynes is playing Marley, the owner of the Margaritaville Resort Hotel, onstage tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Ledge Amphitheater! For Jazz, performing at the Ledge is a stepping stone in a performance journey that started when she was a kid in choir.
I’ve always been told I’m a good singer. I felt like I could be a decent actor…. I did some theatre in high school, and I thought, let’s push the boundaries and comfort zones.”
Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville is Jazz’s second GREAT production– you may remember seeing her in Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity last winter.
But the two experiences are really quite different. A lot of the people in Black Nativity were people I go to church with at Higher Ground. And a good portion of the time we actually rehearsed at the church. So it was like coming into a familiar space. While that show was a lot of familiarity for me, this one is a lot of new things for me.”
Jazz credits the Escape to Margaritaville rehearsal space with helping her grow in confidence approaching new people. With a cast of mostly new faces, she says she’s learned how to break the ice, too– and it’s a lot easier when you’re all singing together. Of course, the music is largely new to Jazz, too.
Right when I signed up, I told a coworker I was auditioning for Escape to Margaritaville. She asked if it had anything to do with Jimmy Buffett… Honestly, I had no clue! I’d heard of him, but didn’t know who he was at first… Now he’s on my playlists.”
Leading Jazz and the rest of the Escape to Margaritaville cast through all their firsts is director Lydia Wagner. Jazz says that Lydia explains the history and function of Jimmy Buffett’s music during rehearsals with great care.
A lot of people might not know the origin of their music, or their favorite genre, but it totally changes your understanding of the songs. Lydia cares about the deeper story in this music and it shows. Her energy, her passion, like, you can tell she really loves what she’s doing. And I can tell she cares about us.”
Lydia and Jazz have even worked together on a backstory for Jazz’s character, the bar owner Marley, based on their understandings of the character.
Marley is like me in that if I’m doing something, I’m doing it and I’m going all the way, especially for family. For her though, the people around her are family. They’re not just tourists or employees. And that’s the vibe of the music, and the show.
Come and see the island world that Jazz and the rest of the talented cast have brought to life! If you don’t have your tickets to see Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville yet, get them today!